Juicy poems of reflective thoughts

A review of Olushola Adeborode Kolawole’s Reflections by Folorunsho Moshood.

REFLECTIONS is a collection of 50 inspirational and motivational poems written by Olushola Adeborode Kolawole (OAK), founder/CEO of OAK Foundation, a charity organisation aimed at supporting indigent students, widows and the fatherless in Africa. OAK is also the author of two recently published books, ‘Practical Approaches To Choosing A Career’ and ‘The Little Things That Matter’

The set of 50 poems in this collection has the juiciness and push that will propel the reader to savour its delight for a very long time.

Words are truly ephemeral, but they become immortal in the hands of poets who are famous for their creative skills to inspire and motivate the reader. Inspirational and motivational poems, therefore, are poems that bring excitement of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.

They lift up the souls at their lowest ebb. To motivate and inspire, a poet needs to work on both positive and negative feelings or activities otherwise known as vices and virtues. In his or her works, a poet must write to either raise/promote virtues or reduce/stop vices or both.

However, when a poet writesto give reasons for the reader to act either positively or negatively, s/he motivates whereas when s/he writes to reach the heart of the reader in a way that changes occur from the inside out leading to actions, the poet inspires.

In this collection by Olushola Adeborode Kolawole, there are 20 poems that will inspire the reader while the rest 30 poems serve as motivation.

Out of the 20 poems that inspire, 10 have positive titles while the rest 10 come with negative titles.

The inspirational poems with positive titles are, ‘Perfection’, ‘Right Perception’, ‘Salvation’, ‘Love’, ‘Care’, ‘Passion’, ‘Happiness’, ‘Hope’, ‘Freedom’ and ‘Patriotism’. Those with negative titles are ‘Corruption’, ‘Vanity’, ‘Hatred’, ‘Wildlife (poaching)’, ‘Boredom’, ‘Unapologetic’, ‘Racism’, ‘Backbiters’, ‘Daffodils’ and ‘Perfect Imperfection’.

But the negative titles do not in any way promote negative thinking. These 20 poems depict the heart of the entire collection.

In this OAK’s collection, the 30 motivational poems are under the following titles, ‘Wake Up Call’, ‘A Student’s Life’, ‘Nature’, ‘An Imaginary Friend’, ‘Positive Thinking’, ‘Reflection’, ‘Mother’, ‘Correction’, ‘My Dream’, ‘Hero’, ‘Rain’, ‘The Atmosphere’, ‘A Word For Thought’, ‘Friend’, ‘Letter From My Pen’, ‘A Girl-Child’, ‘While Growing Up’, ‘Time’, ‘Nigeria’, ‘My Teacher’, ‘Quiet Time’, ‘When Love Dies’, ‘Look Forward’, ‘Time’, ‘My Date’, ‘A Quiet Moment’, ‘A New Take’, ‘Life’s Struggle’, ‘Distance Apart’, and ‘The Way of Life’.

In ‘Right Perception’, the poet raises virtues:

 

Get a magnifier and see

Or a torch and discover

The best values in others.

 

But in ‘Corruption’, he wishes to stop a shadow that dwells amidst all:

Corruption! Corruption!

A shadow that dwells amidst all

That must be stopped now and not later

 

Every moral message in this collection revolves round the thematic preoccupation of life and living. This becomes so apparent since the bard, in most of the poems, chants to lift up the spirits in the souls of his readers using his own attributes:

 

I am the principle of royalty

With subjects of valour;

I’m the ambassador of dignity

With emissaries of honour;

I reach your soils with my tentacles;

And lifting you by your ankles …

Into pleasure and perfection.

 

‘The way of life’is the poet contribution to the development of individuals and explains the process of defining oneself.

 

…What you have faith in

Is what you achieve

What you achieve

Defines your being.

 

The beauty of the lines of poetry in ‘The Way of Life’ is the use of indirect definitions and the repetition of the end words. Chanting these lines will be synonymous to chanting an incantation with repetition laying emphasis on the end words.

 

‘Distance Apart’ is full of paradoxical lines embellished by similes:

Far away like the sun

But like shadows, you are near

 

And a good example of metaphor, ‘The miles stretching their limbs’ connotes a great distance that is covered by memory.

What makes this collection lyrical is the use of the rhyme scheme in most of the poems. For example, in ‘A New Take’, the rhyme scheme is represented thus; AA, BB, CC, DD, EEE and FF.

Also, in ‘Love’, we have the scheme, AA, BB. CC and DD. This creates good musical effects and add to the overall exquisiteness of the collection.

To also create an antithetical effect, two poems come to the fore, ‘Love’ and ‘Hatred’.

Both poems are not used as counterposes, but mutually complementary.

While the contents of ‘Love’ show some antithetical features in collective pleasure and pain, that of hatred only improve the reader’s knowledge of hatred. The two poems clearly confirm OAK as a good poet with knowledge of the two feelings.

For anyone to really understand love, s/he must know what hatred is all about.

Attempt to make an analysis of each of these stunning poems, written in a free verse form but with all the essential ingredients of juicy poetry, would be to deny the reader of the ‘wow’ of first encounter with them. OAK, the poet, takes the reader on a trip to the poetry land where scintillating poems enliven the spirit in the soul.

From ‘Perfection’ to ‘Wake Up Call’, the message is loud and clear; we must become real human beings by embracing virtues and jettisoning vices, and begin to appear for one another to make lives and living meaningful on the planet earth.

Without doubt, this collection, a must read by all and sundry, will uniquely touch the heart and soul of the reader.

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